“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Grooming our future rulers and masters

Letter signed by 32 members of congress opposing financial regulations written by lobbyist
Published time: August 16, 2013 16:39 
Edited time: August 16, 2013 20:38

Startling evidence has been revealed that a June letter signed by 32 House Democrats opposing new regulations on retirement advisors was written by an employee of a financial-industry lobby group working to stop that legislation.
According to the metadata of a Microsoft Word document, which indicates who first created the letter and subsequently edited the file, it was drafted by Robert Lewis, a lobbyist working for the Financial Services Institute (FSI), an investment industry trade group. Mother Jones published its findings on Thursday after it obtained the document.
The June 14th correspondence sent to the Department of Labor opposes new regulations on retirement advisers. Twenty eight out of 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) signed onto the letter, along with Democratic congress members Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Ed Pastor of Arizona, and Jim Costa of California.
Though influence by lobbyist and special interests are often inferred through campaign contribution records, the publication of evidence showing that a letter sent by congress to a federal regulatory body was literally penned by a lobbyist is in itself remarkable.
"This rule is about protecting people from conflicts of interest," said Phyllis Borzi, the Department of Labor's assistant secretary for employee benefits security, who is behind a regulatory push for stronger investment adviser rules.
The new legislation is aimed at protecting low-income workers from predatory investment counselors, who may be acting in their own best interest rather than that of their customers.
Even those earning comparatively little in the US can end up seeking the advice of investment counselors when moving their retirement nest eggs from employee-sponsored 401k plans into other forms of retirement accounts.
As Mother Jones reports and has been widely investigated by other publications, financial advisers often stand to profit by leading investors into unnecessary high-fee investments. Ten million people in the US change jobs and must handle their retirement funds each year, according to data provided by the Congressional Research Service.
Accordingly, it has been a main concern of the lobbying group Robert Lewis works for,  the Financial Services Institute, to oppose new regulations on behalf of the financial investment industry.
FSI has spent $196,000 so far lobbying in the first quarter of this year reports Mother Jones, nearly half the total it spent in all of 2012. According to disclosure forms filed by the group the proposed new investment adviser rule is at the top of its lobbying issues.
The liberal lawmakers who signed onto the letter drafted by Lewis have received tens of thousands in campaign contributions from the securities and investment industry.
According to a copy of the document, it cautions the US Labor Department against enacting new regulations on retirement advisors, warning that strict new rules could push them to abandon the market and severely limit access to low-cost investment advice" for "the minority communities we represent."
FSI has so far not responded to requests for comment on the ghostwritten letter.


  1. A Word Doc or a pdf document can be decoded to analyze the history of the document. It can show the author, time and corrections made.

    That is what has happened here. It happens with health care, finance and worst of all, foreign policy and military spending.

    1. Yesterday, Fox carried an ongoing story about a 35,000 acre Army surplus storage depot in CA. This facility is filled with tanks, APCs, self-propelled artillery, etc, etc, etc. Much of it brand new and never used, worth tens of billions of dollars. Unless it can be sold or given away to "allies" it will be cut up for scrap. Moreover, about 20% of such hardware shipped into Afghanistan will be sold/given to locals to convert to scrap metal!

    2. Back in WWII days, they were more efficient:

      They simply deep-sixed the shit off ships.

  2. You might as well get over it; the black man is going to be in the white house for 3 1/2 more years, and he is probably Not going to attack Iran for you.

    1. He might figure that Americans aren't quite ready for $10.00 gasoline.

    2. No snark intended: Why is the president a "black man"? I sense that the 2016 presidential race is going to contain an unhealthy racial component.

    3. Many of us consider the "birther" movement to be largely race-inspired.

    4. Obama's birth was and is never a race issue. However many that consider it a race-inspired issue are in fact racists.

  3. The LFBC was printed by the State of Hawaii, dimwit.

    The employees of the State have testified that the data set on the document matches that on file in archives.

    Hawaii does not maintain paper files, all birth records were digitilized in the 1970's.

    If the data set in the Hawaiian records are corrupted, well, there we be.

    1. Love the way you speak about things above your paygrade.

      "all birth records were digitilized in the 1970's." However Obama's LFBC was a PDf with layers. That was the point dimwit.

      You typical mea cupa about corrupted data is hogwash.

      If the record was digitilized, it would have been a flat doc. Addressing Deuce's point? We SHOULD be able to unlock the layers and see more specific data as to who and when.

      Please Rat, go back to your bong and your weed and your stall mucking. That's your paygrade.

    2. He can't bong and muck at the same time. It is asking too much of rat.

  4. 'O'riginal predicited the US would attack Iran, every Spring, since the BC days. Never has anyone been so wrong, so consistently.

    The last thread, though lightly commented upon, told an interesting tale.

    I would dispute the description of the NVA as a light military force, but that is about all that could be disputed.

    1. And the US has.

      By it's own admission.

      Maybe not in your checkers scope of vision, but more in the language of the Persians, CHESS.

      America HAS attacked Iran EVERY year.

      Economic Sanctions, Computer viruses, Proxy special forces...

      ALL accomplished and all accomplished the goal, stalling a Iranian nuke.

      Maybe you are smoking to much weed to remember....

    2. Didn't realize rat was such a bonger. Explains why his 'spider web' is so screwed up, why most of his writing makes no sense, why his 'ideas' circle round and implode on themselves.

    3. Why he sees conspiracies everywhere......

    4. Why he gets cathected to wrong headed ideas and returns to them endlessly, endlessly....
      Must be a hell of a life.....

    5. Why he thinks he's the center of the world wide spider web....

      Bong bonkers....

    6. For instance, does anyone recall how bongrat was going on about how important an event might be even if it never happened?

      Should have guessed right then -

      bong bonkers

    7. Rat has confessed, openly, on this blog, that he's a pot smoker.

      Now in that mix he brags he trains swat, AZ FBI and the Sheriff's department on riding horses and shooting weapons.

      I doubt that is a good mix.

      I hear that smoking weed harms the memory.

      So Ratbong is a good name for him.

    8. Now rat will argue that weed is legal in some places.

      That he's never been convicted of a crime.

      But he's the one with guns and weed, he's the one training the cops to shoot..

      I wonder if they will do a hair test on him... (after his arrest)

    9. So is Medical Marijuana in Arizona, I believe. :)

    10. Legal for me, I know for a fact.
      Got the card that makes it so.

      As for chocolate, that's for fatties.

    11. Legislation by Proposition, there is a lot to be said for it.

      Eliminates the 'Special Intersts'

  5. As for lobbyists writing regulations and legislation, then attempting to hide it ...

    GW Bush and Dick Cheney were masters at it.
    US energy policy regulations exemplify that truth.

  6. Lobbyists, basically, write ALL legislation. Hell, I've written some, myself.

    1. And, no, I'm not going to be more specific.

    2. Harheharhahrhahahharrr

      Rufus the Legislator.

      Must have been along the lines of liquor regs for Mississippi.

      Wouldn't be anything to it.

  7. Wandering around the web,

    But there’s a funny point I hadn’t thought of until Matt O’Brien pointed it out. The alleged justification for chain-linking is that the conventional consumer price index overstates true inflation; it might overall, but probably not for seniors. In any case, however, as Matt points out, the very same Republicans who claim that Social Security benefits should be cut because the CPI overstates true inflation also insist that the Fed must stop quantitative easing, despite the absence of any visible inflation threat, because the real inflation rate is much higher than the official statistics indicate.

    But Matt, I think, fails to grasp the subtlety of the GOP position here. He accuses them of not knowing what they’re talking about. But surely what’s really happening is that they have a quantum-mechanics view of the situation: the state of the world in which the CPI overstates inflation and the state in which it understates inflation coexist in a condition of superposition, and what happens when you collapse the wave function depends on the position of the observer — that is, whether he’s trying to slash Social Security or bash Ben Bernanke.

    Or, on the other hand, maybe . . . .

    Schroedingers cat - or how I learned to quit worrying and love quantum economic

    1. A funny thing ...

      Some of the elderly folks I know are worried that the price of corn beef hash has gone up.

      A sure sign of inflation.

      That they have three flat screen TVs, two computers, cell phones and broadband Inet, at costs that are so low as to make a fella shake his head in wonder, not factored into their inflationary data sets.

    2. The first computer I bought was just slightly faster than I was, and cost a little over $3,000.00.

      Sweetie pie picked up a ten gazillion gigawhoosis laptop the other day for $278.00.

      That inflashun is a killer, I tells ya.

    3. Now that corn is down almost 50% from its highs, I'm sure that my grocery bill is getting ready to Plummet. Don't ye imagine?

    4. A friend is buying a phone with a camera having 64 mega-pixels! The only thing it cannot do is generate a laser beam.

    5. The first three SE/40 Apples that we bought, were about $4,000 a piece.
      A packaged lease deal, as I recall. About 23 years ago, or so.
      The Tower of Power desk top that I had custom built was about $1,400, a decade ago.

      Now the little lap top I use, a couple of hundred, new out of the box.

      The deflationary impact of the depressed real estate values, not factored in to the elders perception of inflationary pressures, either.

    6. There's no point, allen, people only put their pictures on Facebook, which downgrades the rez so pages don't take forever to load. That's also why people are getting tablets instead of the latest and greatest PC, they're good enough for what they want to do. Bobbo from Idaho can post anonymously on a tablet just as efficiently as on his Windows 8 box.

    7. Teresita,

      How these things may be used, I haven't a clue. Fascinating to me is the enormity of the potential, especially such growth over such a short span of time.

      You have recovered from your illness?

    8. There's a thing called Moore's law where the size of transistors (and hence the total cost of devices) shrinks in half every year. That's why Rufus paid $3,000 for a 4.77 MHZ 8-bit device that was stone knives and bearskins compared to a $300 2 GHZ 64 bit laptop today.

      As for the infirmity, there was an operation, I'm now 50% off. Two years and change out, watching the other'un like a hawk.

    9. .

      Depressed real estate values? Cheap computers?


      Matters little if you don't have the 20% to put down on the house or if you can't get a bank loan. Probably the last things you are thinking about if you don't have a job or are just working part time. Any inflation hurts if you are on fixed income and can't earn investment income because the interest rates paid don't come close to covering the inflation rate.

      The cost of energy, college, college loans, health care, food, no big deal if you can get cell phone service for $200 a month.



    10. Moron:

      Rufus paid $3,000 for a set of stone knives and a bearskin.

      Pay Attention!

    11. When we bought our house in 2002 we took advantage of the Veteran's benefit that allowed us to put zero down on the home, and avoid mortgage insurance. Four years later they were giving loans to everyone and his dog, zero down, and we all know what happened with that. As for bank loans, we went into Bowen Scarff Ford in Kent, WA, and walked out with a 2010 Focus ninety minutes later, and that included the test drive. This during the heart of the downturn. Because I'm one of the tiny minority of people who understands credit to be a lever that allows a person to apply some of their future earnings to a point in the present time. When I get a credit card in the mail I don't go, "Holy shit, look honey, I found eleven thousand dollars!"

    12. Teresita,

      I'm sorry for your loss but pleased to hear of your recovery. Be well.

    13. How much does it cost for your tires today?

  8. Is providing medicine to children, always politically difficult?

    In a politically difficult decision, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie - for now, at least - has said he would allow the use of medical marijuana by children.

    1. He's going to have suuuuuuch a long, and difficult Primary Season. :)

    2. This whole prohibition of hemp thing is rooted in Dow Chemical wanting to sell their nylon rope, and they had lobbyists. Everyone knows prohibition doesn't work. At least, everyone in Washington and Colorado get it.

  9. .

    For Deuce,

    An article on two of your three favorite people.

    Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz: Obama Suspends the Law. What Would Lincoln Say?


    1. Always awed by the amazing genius of the politician that lost control of a bad situation and inflated the worst possible response into a national conflagration.

  10. "No snark intended:

    Why is the president a "black man"?"


    Because our man in Mississippi is better than you, Allen.

    Deal with it.

    Racist MoFo

    1. (Home of Trent Lott, noted Civil Libertarian)


    2. Let’s find some productive work for Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rest. Find them a shovel-ready project.

      And forget about race.

      Forget about Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman and all of that.

      Stop the endless discussions of race on the cable news networks, send the talking heads out to pasture or make them blather on about something else, force Geraldo to ignore the next phony story about someone who allegedly called somebody something twenty years ago when they had too much bourbon.

      And absolutely no more talk of the n-word, crackers or any other racial epithet known or unknown. Just drop it.

    3. Rufie's never wielded a shovel since his trenching tool days in the 'Nam.

      Shilling and selling's been his gig since.

    4. Pretty much the truth, I'm proud to say.

    5. He wasn't an atheist when he was digging foxholes, was he?

  11. Well sure, Q, those that are reliant upon the 'system' are not in as good a shape as tose that were outside the box.

    But ...
    6 or 7% returns on Deeds of Trusts are still paying, like clock work.
    Even if. The underlying property is valued at less today than when the property sold. That the folks don't or can't refinance, not a real concern. If they do. I'd have to flip and finance another house or two.

    If they keep paying, I don't have to do much of anything, but have fun.

    I used to think cleaning up depressed housing was fun, my position on that has modified, with time.

    Cattle ranching, in the current climate, now that is fun

    1. That ain't fun: That's Cheatin!

    2. .

      Face it, rat.

      Much of the world just can't match you on the clever index.


    3. Hasn't AZ Real Estate largely recovered via The Bernanke, 'Rat?

    4. Not really, doug.

      Many folks are still underwater.

  12. Replies
    1. We're all cowards, when it comes to race.

      Live it, love it, fuck it...

  13. .

    Obama’s promise

    On August 9, Obama told Americans from the East Room of the White House:

    If you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden’s put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s e-mails. What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they’re not abused is because they’re — these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court].

    Snowden’s reality

    But according to an internal NSA audit provided by Snowden and published by the Post Friday, in the 12 months preceding May 2012, the NSA’s Washington-area intelligence gathering assets identified 2,776 incidents of “unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications.” In just one incident, a “large number” of calls placed from Washington were intercepted by the NSA “when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt.”

    And these incidents are just from the NSA’s Washington-area facilities. Government officials tell the Post that, “the number would be substantially higher if it included other NSA operating units and regional collection centers.”


  14. How can I hate Boehner more than Obama if I'm a racist?

    1. How does hating an Orange Man make you not racist?

    2. ...let's not forget:

      The entire family sport California tans.

    3. More Properly:

      California Oranges.

  15. .

    The Idiot Big Brother

    Mark Steyn attacks Obama's recent speech on surveillance; however, unlike other articles that do the same, with this one, we get the pleasure of Mark's snarky yet colorful prose.

    One example:

    Okay. Well, how about this Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that has to sign off on everything? The chief judge of the FISC court, Reggie B. Walton, says that he can only “rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court.” So, if it sounds kosher, it probably is.

    I once bought my daughter a Siamese kitten in rural Québec and drove her back to my home in New Hampshire. At the border post, the guard leaned in the window and said, “You better have some paperwork for that cat.” I handed over the official form from the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec. The officer stared at it for a few seconds, and then asked, “Do you understand French?”

    “Yes,” I said.

    “Does this seem on the level to you?”

    “Yes,” I said. She waved us through.

    That’s basically what FISA court “oversight” boils down to. And, insofar as they decide it isn’t on the level, it’s usually after the fact.


    1. Makes sense to me.

      In French.

      I'll ask my half-Jap, half-Black GP if the

      "Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec"

      sounds good to him.

    2. I always thought he was Carib.

      ...then I asked.

  16. Back to the future.

    CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian authorities are considering disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood group, a government spokesman said Saturday, once again outlawing a group that held the pinnacle of government power just more than a month earlier.

    The announcement comes after security forces broke up two sit-in protests this week by those calling for the reinstatement of President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader deposed in a July 3 coup. The clashes killed more than 600 people that day and sparked protests and violence that killed 173 people Friday alone.

    Cabinet spokesman Sherif Shawki said that Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, who leads the military-backed government, assigned the Ministry of Social Solidarity to study the legal possibilities of dissolving the group. He didn’t elaborate.

    The Muslim Brotherhood group, founded in 1928, came to power a year ago when its Morsi was elected in the country's first free presidential elections. The election came after the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in 2011.


    The collective genius of Bush and the Neocons thought that Saddam and old man Assad didn’t know what they were doing when they put the hammer down on these religious fanatics. Reagan previously was all fired up about the atheistic communists and their Afghan clients being nasty to the religious fanatics. The Turkish and Egyptian military kept the lid on them. The same can be said about Ghadaffi in Libya.

    What do all these countries have in common? They are all cluster-fucks and to no small part because of US meddling and warring on their countries. Why did we do it to? As absurd as it sounds because 18 out of 20 Saudis, all products of a fanaticism financed and or condoned by the Saudis, did a one time high jacking of four American civilian airplanes, a fete impossible to replicate.

    1. .

      I think you are being way to hard on these countries Deuce.

      I'm sure they could manage to be clusterfucks all on their own without any help from the US. We merely provide a push now and then to keep them moving easily down hill.


    2. The moslem brotherhood are and were islamic nazis.

      the USA did nothing to create the mess, just came to support them under Obama.

  17. Philly Confidential

    Man, 40, shot to death in West Philadelphia
    POSTED: Friday, August 16, 2013, 3:40 PM

    Police are investigating a shooting that left a 40-year-old man dead in West Philadelphia early this morning. The victim, who has not yet been identified, was outside on 55th Street near Christian at 5:41 a.m. when someone shot him six times, police said. Suffering from three gunshot wounds to the back and three more to the left arm, the man was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Police said the victim was pronounced dead there about three hours later, at 8:43 a.m. No suspects or motive have been determined in the homicide.


  18. I don’t believe that the family of the 40 year old man will be relieved to find out that the killers were not Jihadiis.

    1. Blacks of America are quickly becoming the "palestinians" of America.

    2. A racist comment on so many levels

    3. Well since you have advocate for genocide against the Pali, do you own the sentiments towards US citizens that happen to be dark skinned, too?

      Does your ownership extend that far?

  19. The torture brought on the Iraqi people by US incompetence in the ME never ends

    It seems like a lot of the arms that the CIA and US military, at the bequest of vermin like John McCain and Barack Obama, are now actively being smuggled to al Qaeda in Iraq. Way to go assholes.

    Iraq Premier Warns of Weapons Smuggled From Syria
    BAGHDAD August 16, 2013 (AP)
    By SAMEER N. YACOUB Associated Press

    Iraq's prime minister warned Saturday that weapons and fighters flowing into Syria are now making their way to Iraq, as a rising tide of violence sweeps across the country.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that weapons provided by some countries to the Syrian rebels and foreign fighters attempting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, are now ending up in Iraq.

    "The weapons provided to those killers in Syria have been smuggled to Iraq and those wolves that came from different countries to Syria are now sneaking into Iraq," he said during a youth gathering.

    Al-Maliki said that this movement of weapons and fighters is adding to the violence hitting his country.

    Iraq officially remains neutral in the Syrian conflict. The Shiite-led government in Baghdad has repeatedly called for a peaceful, political solution to the crisis, though it has also warned that a victory for the rebels would unleash sectarian war in Iraq and Lebanon.

    The long and porous Iraqi-Syrian border runs along Iraq's Sunni-dominated provinces of Anbar and Ninevah, and was a key conduit for arms and al-Qaida fighters in the years following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Centuries-old cultural and tribal affiliations span the loosely defended desert frontier.

    Iraqi border guards frequently clash with militants and smugglers who are attempting to move across the borders.

    In Saturday's violence, gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint just south of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and wounding four others.

    In an attack on a checkpoint near Muqdadiyah, a town 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Baghdad, three soldiers were killed and one was wounded, police said.

    In the city of Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of the Iraqi capital, gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint, killing two soldiers, police said.

  20. Egypt is erupting before the world’s eyes, and there is no technology-babble about Facebook or Twitter revolutions anymore. Instead there’s a Hobbesian, zero-sum battle being fought that is narrowing whatever window is left for compromise and reconciliation.

    Dan Murphy
    Staff writer

    Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East. Murphy, who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and more than a dozen other countries, writes and edits Backchannels. The focus? War and international relations, leaning toward things Middle East.

    Unarmed supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have been gunned down by government forces, armed supporters of the movement have skirmished with police, dozens of churches have been burned across the country in the past few days, and the rhetoric of holy war and squashing terrorism vie with each other for shrillness and rage across the Egyptian airwaves and on social media.

    The death toll has surpassed 700 since Egypt's interim military-backed government stormed Muslim Brotherhood protests camps on Wednesday. And as a military-imposed curfew in Cairo and other cities drew close this evening, the death toll from today alone reached 38.

    That may not sound like much compared with the horrific violence that neighbors like Syria and Libya have experienced in recent years, but Egypt appears to be spiraling quickly out of control, leading some to wonder if war could be in the offing

    1. actually it's spiraling INTO control.

      The islamists are going to be crushed.

      islamists = nazis.

      May they be erased one country at a time.

    2. You told us that Christians equaled NAZIs, too.

      Your bigotry knows no bounds

  21. Poland is wising up and noticing that following Washington’s lead is foolish and deadly

    WARSAW — Poland will limit its participation in overseas military missions and concentrate on modernizing its forces at home, President Bronislaw Komorowski announced Thursday.

    “We are abandoning without hesitation the missions policy, announced in 2007, which was too eager and ill-advised. The consistent policy of sending Polish soldiers to the other side of the world is over,” declared the president at a military parade during armed forces day in Warsaw.

    Komorowski, who is also the supreme chief of the armed forces under the constitution, said the death of 41 Polish soldiers during NATO’s ISAF mission in Afghanistan was a main contributor for the policy change.

    Poland maintains 1,600 soldiers in Afghanistan. Like other countries participating in the conflict, it intends to pull out its troops in 2014.

    Polish troops also formed one of the largest contingents to take part in the Iraq conflict, reaching 2,500 troops at one point.

    Warsaw has been and continues to be part of a number of peacekeeping missions, and observes and gives humanitarian aid for various organizations, such as the UN, NATO, the EU and the OSCE.

  22. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of putting a choke collar on DC and throttling the bitch.

  23. Right on Pat Buchanan

    “Sire, clear the square with gunfire or abdicate.”

    That was the message one of his generals gave the young czar Nicholas I in December of 1825, as thousands of civilians and soldiers massed in Senate Square to challenge his claim to the throne.

    Nicholas gave the order, the cannons fired, and he and his heirs ruled Russia for another century, until Nicholas II was overthrown, and murdered by Bolsheviks.

    Such was the moment Egypt’s army faced on Wednesday, with thousands of backers of the Muslim Brotherhood encamped in Cairo, challenging its rule. The slaughter that ensued, 500 dead the first day and thousands wounded, means there is no going back.

    The die is cast. The Egyptian army has crossed the Rubicon.

    Egypt’s generals cannot now hold elections that a coalition of the Brotherhood and Salafis might win. Were that to happen, many of them could wind up like the shah’s generals, on trays in the morgue.

    So where does Egypt, and where do we go from here?

    While we Americans are babbling about a new politics of “inclusiveness,” even some of the Twitter-Facebook liberals of Tahrir Square are coming to see Egypt as it is. Us or them.

    And the one issue on which Egypt’s Muslim militants and Egypt’s militarists seem to agree is that the Americans cannot be trusted.

    Two years ago, the United States celebrated an Arab Spring that began with the overthrow in Tunis and Cairo of dictators who had been our loyal allies. We then became the champions of free elections in Egypt, as we had been the champions of free elections in Palestine, until Hamas swept the board in Gaza.

    When half of Egypt voted for the Brotherhood and a fourth for the more militant Salafis, we accepted the results and pledged to work with President Mohammed Morsi.

    But Morsi failed as badly as Hosni Mubarak. So, when millions massed in Cairo’s streets to demand Morsi’s overthrow, we signaled our approval for a military coup.

    Then, when Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seized power, imprisoned Morsi, jailed Brotherhood leaders and installed a puppet government, we refused to call it a coup.

    Secretary of State John Kerry provided the comic relief by assuring us that the Egyptian army was “restoring democracy.”

    For two years, America has been loyal to no one, and consistent in nothing. Thus, Egypt’s soldiers decided to do what they had to do to save their country. And if new elections are likely to produce a regime that threatens their Egypt, they will dump the democratic procedures rather than lose Egypt to the Brotherhood.

    They will comply with our wishes to the extent that they do not imperil what the Egyptian army regards as vital. Gen. Sisi either did not believe we would cut off his military aid, or was willing to take that risk when he gave the order to fire on the protesters.

    He read the Americans right. What do we do now?



    1. {..}

      As our interests dictate maintaining the peace between Egypt and Israel, keeping Egypt as an ally against Islamic terrorism, and protecting Christians, we cannot sever ties to the army that runs the country. In these goals, Egypt’s military, no matter the brutality with which it behaved on Wednesday against the Brotherhood, is an ally.

      But if we were to retain any credibility as the champion of peaceful protest, we had to signal that what was done by Egypt’s security forces was done without our approval. President Obama did that by canceling the military exercises with the Egyptian army in Sinai.

      Yet Egypt has problems we cannot solve. It is divided between secularists and fundamentalists, whose visions are irreconcilable. It is divided between a middle class and millions of poor for whom neither Mubarak nor Morsi was able to create any measure of prosperity.

      Without constant infusions of aid, Egypt, a country whence the tourists and investors alike have fled, cannot create a robust economy until radicalism and extremism are in the past.

      Egypt today cannot sustain itself. But America’s role as primary foreign aid provider is coming to an end. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Gulf states are today sending many times the aid we are sending to Cairo.

      Let them take the lead. The fate of Arab peoples is far more tied up in what happens along the Nile than is the fate of America.

      While we do not know what will succeed in the Middle East, we do know what has failed. Nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq has left us bleeding and near bankrupt. Our flipping and flopping in Egypt’s turmoil has alienated all sides. Our wars have accomplished what?

      Perhaps lowering our profile and shutting up would serve us better. This part of the world will be decades sorting out its future in light of the political, religious, ethnic and ideological forces unleashed by the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamism.

      A phrase from the America of a century ago, when Mexico was in turmoil, comes to mind. Why not a period of watchful waiting?

      Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”

    2. .

      This is all part of the US master plan. Ask the rat.


    3. And on some days it is all a part of the one world order master plan. All depending on the bong load for the day.

    4. There are those that are working towards a "New World Order", many of them in the US government.
      Some have been President, some have been named Bush.

      That's a reality.

      As for the US foreign policy plan, in Egypt, well....

      It has been steady since 1980, when the first US/Egyptian military exercises commenced.
      The current leader of Egypt, an alumni of the US War College, in Carisle, PA.

      Those are facts, jack.

      That both the US and the Egyptian military gave "Peace", in the personage of Morsai, a "Chance", also a reality.

      That the elected government of Egypt proved to be both inept and criminal, well, the military stepped in to install the principles of “fairness, justice, equality, unity, and charity,” to the Egyptian government.

      The US continues to fund that process.

    5. Not only does the US continue to fund the Egyptian military, its allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait et al have ponied up over $15 billion USD to fund the transitional government in Egypt.

      Much more than they ever committed to Morsai and the MB.

      That Q has bought into the Kabuki theater propagated by the Wizards of OZ, telling.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. As long as Obama stays on the golf course, we will still have a fighting chance.

  25. Egypt is running out of oil, out of time, and out of chances.

    They have always, when things got tough, invaded to the South.

    (did I mention that they've got oil down there?)

    1. They're not going anywhere.

      Too busy putting the MB down.

      Allah Bless the Egyptian military.

    2. How many M1A2 Tanks do the MB have? The Generals will squash them like bugs.

    3. Egypt is an important non-OPEC energy producer. It has the sixth largest proved oil reserves in Africa. Over half of these reserves are offshore reserves.

      As of 2005, Egypt's proven oil reserves were estimated at 3.7 billion barrels (590×106 m3), of which 2.9 billion barrels (460×106 m3) was crude oil and 0.8 billion barrels (130×106 m3) were natural gas liquids

      Egypt aint running out of oil or gas.

      It is running out of cash.

    4. Before the Sudanese/S. Sudanese started fighting amongst themselves a couple of years ago, they were pumping about 500,000 bbl/day. About time for the grown-ups (Egyptian military style, I imagine) to get down there and sort things out, I'd imagine.

      Sudanese Oil Production

    5. Egypt also is vehemently opposed to the new dam in the works in Ethiopia.

      Most importantly, however, will be the upcoming food shortage. Part of the present unrest has that as a major factor; Egypt is doomed to starvation without the continued goodwill of the Saudis. Ironically, this is a country which for millennia was the breadbasket of the West.

      Whether Egypt would exploit the chaos in Libya is a wild card. Egypt and Libya have had clashes concerning boundaries. Libya does have oil.

    6. "Reserves" aren't Production. Egypt's "Production" is down by half, and is no longer enough to sustain domestic consumption, much less provide for much-needed currency through Exports.

      Egypt Production

    7. The one country the Egyptian Military won't pick a fight with is Israel (no oil, and a big, strong brother.) No "edge," there.

    8. The US has thousands of M1A2 tanks sitting in the California desert, waiting that special someone who will tenderly love and care for them. For clarification, the US has built approximately 9000 of these. Egypt has been a constant customer.

    9. Dec 2, 2012
      The country began a co-production program for M1 Abrams tanks in 1988, which involves kit assembly in Egypt but outsources sensitive functions like adding the M1′s special armor. By 2007, this program had produced 880 tanks, a total that will rise to 1,130 M1 tanks as the latest contracts are fulfilled. This gives Egypt one of the globe’s largest M1 fleets.

      While the US Army continues to buy the M1 from General Dynamics, even with those units stockpiled in California and money being tight.

      Mr Crown has an in at the White House.

    10. Egypt not only imports almost half of their food, they are now net importers of oil/petroleum products.

      Oil Export Databrowser

    11. Let's review the bidding, shall we?

      Former Oil Exporters that are no longer:

      1) Egypt

      2) Syria

      3) Yemen

      Any question?

    12. And the US set to export oil by 2020 (already net exporter of refined liquids).

  26. Despite the Kabuki theater being propagated by the Wizards of OZ, the Egyptian Army is solidly in the US camp.

    Its commander an alumni of the US Army War College.

    Its' armored personnel carriers, M113's
    It's tanks, Egyptian built M1 Abrams.

    The Suez Canal remains open
    The Russians are limited to Syria in their Mediterranean basing options.

    When Colonel Q offered the Russians basing opportunities in Libya, he was deposed. A reality that is profound amongst those with a Mediterranean shoreline, but not often mentioned by the anti-US crowd, here.

    Oh, and the Israeli free fire at "radicals" in the Sinai, without fear of retaliation from Egypt.

    The rest, Kabuki dancers and fun house mirrors.

  27. The US will continue to fund the Egyptian military, Mr Crown will see to that

    Dec 3/12: General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI receives a $37.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification for services in support of the M1A1 co-production effort at the Egyptian Tank Plant in Cairo, Egypt. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights and Cairo, with an estimated completion date of Feb 28/15. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by US Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-09-C-0488).

    1. It is interesting how much influence a $3 million USD advance on a three book deal to a community organizer can buy.

    2. Rat's back to his Jew cabal theories again..

      how quaint

    3. Keep smoking the weed Rat...

      Makes ya paranoid ya know.

    4. You may know, from your own experiences, but it does not have that effect on me.

      As for a Jewish cabal, I never knew Obama's mother was Jewish.

      As for Mr Crown, his religion is incidental to his interest in GD. Only a bigot would bring religion into evey thread.

    5. Mr. Crown runs the entire world.

      He wanted a sunni president, bingo we have a sunni president.

    6. Come on, anoni, you can't be that stupid, can you?

      Mr Crown paid Obama $3 million USD to write three books.
      The family Obama vacations at the Crown compound or estate in Aspen, almost every summer.
      They may have missed this summer, going on that African trip, instead.

      I thought quot said Obama was part of the Jewish cabal.
      If that is the case, Obama is no Sunni, but a Jew, too.

    7. Mr Crown does own a big piece of General Dynamics, was once the CEO, he owned so much of it.

      Them's the facts.

      Dispute them if you can, if you can't, why then you can talk about me.

    8. .

      The rat is back to his 'it's all in the plan' meme.

      Where he views US foreign policy as the work of the Illuminati, in reality, it is merely the blundering of the Ignorati; not kabuki but Looney Tunes, G.I. Joe replaced by Mr. Dithers as leader of Team USA.

      He views the confused twitching of US diplomats as the subtle maneuvering of some dark imminence who is manipulating the vast chess board of the ME to US advantage.

      He sees the chaos the U.S. created in Iraq and Libya as part of the plan. He accepts the US contributions to the chaos in Afghanistan and Syria as further evidence of the plan. That we continue to pay baksheesh to Egypt in the hopes of currying favor and once again achieving the status of 'player', even though the military ignores us and its people hate us, part of the plan. That the US allies in the ME, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, et al offer us lip service then work against the interests of the American people behind our back, part of the plan.

      The rat confuses correlation with causation when he views positives like the Suez Canal still being open, the fact that Egypt hasn't attacked Israel, or the potential decimation of the MB as proof 'the plan.' He ignores other key facts, such as, Egypt can't afford to close the Canal since they are almost bankrupt and require foreign currency, Egypt can't afford to attack Israel since they would in turn have their ass handed to them, or that Egypt's attacks on the MB are in the interest of Egypt's secular/military government, that the attacks are against the US professed interests in Egypt, or that Saudi Arabia is willing to pay more I bribe money to see her old enemy, the MB, taken down than the US is to keep it up and running.

      The fact that the US has alienated the populations of an entire region of the globe, even those of our so-called allies, the fact that we are viewed as inconsistent and that we can't be trusted as an ally, the fact that we have the ability to turn all sides in any given conflict against us all at the same time, well, that's just part of the plan according to one man's critique.

      That critique, IMO, is funnier than a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask.


    9. The US had alienated those populations decades ago.
      Recall, if you will, their dancing in the streets after the WTC collapsed.

      The love loss is nothing new, Q.
      We are hated all across the globe, have been for decades.
      The US has three basic goals in regards to Eygp
      1. The Suez Canal
      2. Peace with Israel
      3. Minimze Russian influence.

      All are within operational norms.

      Is there domestic turmoil in Egypt, you betcha.
      Is the US achieving its long term goals, you betcha.

      Should the US abandon 35 years of policy in an effort to credibility on the Arab street, I think not
      The US government has little credibility on the streets of the US, why would it have any in Egypt?

      Or Iraq, Iran, Syria or Afpakistan?

      We have fucked those people over for more than fifty years.
      The US will 'Stay the Course'
      Like it or not

    10. '... to GAIN credibility ...'

    11. desert ratSat Aug 17, 06:28:00 PM EDT
      You may know, from your own experiences, but it does not have that effect on me.
      As for a Jewish cabal, I never knew Obama's mother was Jewish.
      As for Mr Crown, his religion is incidental to his interest in GD.
      Only a bigot would bring religion into evey thread.

      Looking in the mirror again BongRodent?

  28. I do not think Israel has a "free fire" policy in the Sinai. Only one such incursion has occurred to date and that appears to have been in coordination with the Egyptians. It should not be forgotten that, contrary to the peace treaty, Israel has not complained of the Egyptian introduction of armored units into the Sinai to combat Hamas et al.

    Among other things, Egypt would be bereft of allies in a war with Israel: Syria is gutted, Lebanon is always teetering on the verge of civil war and is poorly equipped and trained, Iraq has its own troubles, Jordan knows a good thing, and Turkey is waiting to reassemble all the broken eggs into its visionary neo-Ottoman sphere. Israel's only opposition would be the EU, UN, and the US.

    1. The removal of Morsi is less than a month old, allen.
      I think that 'one' strike is telling.

      As is the lack of complaint from the Israli about those tanks in the Sinai.

      General al~Sisi is no threat to the Camp David Accord. The US and Israeli both know it

    2. Another reason to support General Sisi.

    3. Listening to rat talk about Israel?


      Rat's hatred of israel run deep and consistent.

    4. wow Rat's calling me "dimwit" not a bad word for a Pot head to come up with...

      So our resident jew hating, Israel bashing troll, now admits to shooting weapons, smoking pot and teaching the law enforcement of AZ on the proper usage of guns and horses...

  29. The Baroness Ashton weights in --

    >>>The international community has urged both sides to show restraint and end the turmoil engulfing the nation. The European Union's foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton said Friday that the death toll over the last few days is "shocking" and that responsibility weighs heavily on the interim government and the wider political leadership in Egypt.

    Additional reporting by Associated Press<<<

    The Baroness really doesn't carry much weight. Mostly hot air.

  30. A bad day for four leading Arab cities
    August 17, 2013 12:22 AM
    By Rami G. Khouri
    The Daily Star

    Thursday of this week was a bad day in modern Arab history. The four leading Arab cities of recent eras – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Cairo – were simultaneously engulfed in bombings or urban warfare, mostly carried out with brutal savagery and cruelty against civilians in urban settings. Even more problematic is that the carnage was predominantly the work of Arabs, not foreign invaders. Our four greatest modern Arab cities are now routinely depicted around the world with scenes of bomb craters, flames and rows of dead bodies. Other Arab lands, such as Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Tunisia, Bahrain, Algeria and Sudan, are only slightly less chaotic. This is a dramatic and telling moment, but a moment that tells us what, exactly? Have we collectively failed the test of statehood? Modernity? Civility? Democracy? Independence? Sovereignty? Secularism?

    It is important at this moment of reckoning to avoid the temptation that engulfs so many analysts and writers around the world, which is to make definitive and cosmic historical judgments about the meaning of this moment, like The End of History, the End of Islamism, the End of Arab Liberalism, or the End of the Arab Spring.

    So my humble suggestion is that when you run into a phrase or headline describing the current Arab situation that starts with “the end of ... ,” you should not bother to finish reading it, because it will probably tell you more about the psychology of the writer than about any significant trends within the Arab region. We have had few real endings in this region in the past 6,000 years of urban life, but only perpetual transformations and reconfigurations of how identity, power and governance mesh together and evolve slowly year after year.

    For those who do like neat historical markers, though, Thursday could easily be seen as a symbolic moment that marked a serious pause, a slight shift and a momentary regression in the uprisings and transformations that began in December 2010 in Tunisia, but really had started a generation earlier. The old autocratic Arab order that had prevailed since the mid-20th century started to fray at the edges and atrophy in its center in the 1970s, as ruling elites turned into security regimes, and nationalist and developmental states turned into showcases of consumerism and corruption.

    The overthrow or challenge of former regimes have not led to smooth transitions to democratic and pluralistic societies governed by the rule of law in any Arab country – yet. The moment of hope for a series of simultaneous Arab democratic transformations remains unfulfilled, due to different conditions in each country. This transitional phase will give way in due course to renewed efforts to build stable constitutional democracies that will reflect local values; but this will only happen after we get through this nation-building rite of passage.

    1. The most important lesson we can learn from our messy transitions – this is the meaning of the suicide bombings or snipers’ bullets Thursday in Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Cairo – is that the six dominant regional phenomena that have defined the modern Arab world are totally inappropriate for creating modern pluralistic democracies. These six are religion (mainly Islamism), armed forces, resistance, sectarianism, Arabism and tribalism. These powerful shapers of personal identity and immensely effective instruments for mass mobilization and street activism are also utter failures as entry points into stable democratic states.

      Egypt’s striking lesson today is that its two most powerful, organized and trusted groups – the Muslim Brotherhood and the armed forces – both proved to be incompetent in the business of governance. This is not because they do not have capable individuals and smart and rational supporters; they have plenty of those. It is rather because the ways of soldiers and spirituality are designed for worlds other than governance and equitably providing services and opportunities for millions of people from different religions, ideologies and ethnicities.

      Our societies probably must pass through these moments of seeing military, religious, tribal and other groups try their hand at governing, and then also fight each other politically and militarily. They must do this and fail, as the military and the Muslim Brothers are doing in Egypt, in order to confirm over and over again that none of them are qualified to govern, or, more importantly, mandated by a majority of their citizens to rule on their own. The lack of other organized and credible indigenous groups of citizens that can engage in the political process and shape new constitutional systems is largely a consequence of how military officers, members of tribes, and religious zealots have dominated Arab public life for decades.

      So it is no surprise that Egypt and other Arab lands have moved very quickly from revolutionary moments to civil wars. From these events, new and more rational political actors ultimately will emerge who can shape more stable governing orders – after entire societies are frightened, embarrassed and then humbled by the experience of their homegrown killing sprees and political immaturity.

      Rami G. Khouri is published twice weekly by THE DAILY STAR. He can be followed on Twitter @RamiKhouri.

      Read more:
      (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

      Them Moslems!

  31. The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.

    Israeli officials deny having reassured Egypt about the aid but acknowledge having lobbied Washington to protect it.

    When Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, proposed an amendment halting military aid to Egypt, the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee sent a letter to senators on July 31 opposing it, saying it “could increase instability in Egypt and undermine important U.S. interests and negatively impact our Israeli ally.” Statements from influential lawmakers echoed the letter, and the Senate defeated the measure, 86 to 13, later that day.

    US foreign policy is clearly a dither,
    Intentional noise that quantifies the true value sets.

    The NYTimes, adding to that noise, as requested.

  32. .

    So basically what you are saying, rat, is that the Israelis are the only one's with any influence in that region.

    The US sure doesn't seem to have any.


    1. Sure, that's why Bibi is waiting for Obama to greenlight Operation Whack A Mullah. Because we have no influence.

    2. .

      Don't be silly, T.

      That merely reflects the US lack of influence with Iran and Israel's inability to knock out Iran's nuclear capacity on its own.


    3. I think, Q, that the NYTimes piece indicates that the Egyptian military and the Isreali are standing shoulder to shoulder.

      That the US is looking for some plausible deniability with regards the Egyptian militarys' actions. That Obama is trying to maintain the 'Democracy' guise as long as the US can.

      Flying a false flag, as it were.

      That the US would use the Israeli as a cut out with Egypt, well, that goes back to the first Afghan War, Charlie Wilson's War put the connections in public view.

      The Egyptians did not have a viable transition of power ready in time to replace Mubark, they tried open and fair elections, the results went south.

      Maybe they will try again, with a more refined field of candidates.

    4. That the Israeli have 'influence' with Egypt only in so far as the Israeli are speaking for US.

      It is a trioka. With the US trying to stay 'concerned', publicly.
      But the Egyptians still getting all the aid we can send

    5. rat affirms Lester Crown runs the United States and its foreign policy. Why Lester would want a figure head sunni as his current prez is....well, you'd have to ask rat.

      A short while ago Lester wanted Bush as prez. Before that Clinton. Way back Lester wanted Reagan.

      There is a reason for all this even if you, reader, don't see it.

      And you thought your voted counted.

    6. Further events that don't happen, or even couldn't possibly happen, are important even if they don't happen, or can't happen.

      This is settled rat doctrine.

    7. rat's just passing gas he got from the NY Times.

      Tomorrow he will pass gas from some other source.

    8. Don't be silly, T.

      That merely reflects the US lack of influence with Iran and Israel's inability to knock out Iran's nuclear capacity on its own.


      If all else fails, they could always nuke em.

    9. Kid used to have a computer game called "Duke Nukem"

      Bibbi returns as The Duke.

    10. Duke Nukem Forever Official Website‎

      The Alien invaders are stealing Earth's women, especially the hot ones! And they drank Duke's beer. Time to bring the pain.


      Sometimes hard to believe I got him started on that shit.

      Got some kind of deal on a shitload of software, including the original track em down the halls and shoot em up game.

      Forget the name.

    11. Check out the Duke Trailer.

      Wife shoulda busted me for Child Abuse.

    12. .

      I think, Q, that the NYTimes piece indicates that the Egyptian military and the Isreali are standing shoulder to shoulder.

      Of course they are. It is in both countries interest to do so, as I pointed out above.

      That the US is looking for some plausible deniability with regards the Egyptian militarys' actions. That Obama is trying to maintain the 'Democracy' guise as long as the US can.

      If that were true, rat, you have to admit he is doing a piss poor job of it.

      That the Israeli have 'influence' with Egypt only in so far as the Israeli are speaking for US.

      It is a trioka. With the US trying to stay 'concerned', publicly.
      But the Egyptians still getting all the aid we can send

      Right, rat, all part of 'the plan'.

      The truth is the US is stumbling around in the ME trying to somehow achieve the status of 'player' when in fact it is just being 'played'.

      Your chauvinism betrays you. You mimic the other apologists within the administration and their minions in the MSM.


  33. "Eric the Fed" bites another bullet. The Won must be feeling a handicap on the links.

    “Something more, far more, than what is relied upon by the EEOC in this case must be utilized to justify a disparate impact claim upon criminal history and credit checks. To require less, would be to condemn the use of common sense, and this is simply not what the discrimination laws of this country require,” says the ruling, in granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the case."

    "Judge Titus pulled no punches in taking the EEOC to task based on the flaws in the data it relied upon in support of its disparate impact claims, labeling Dr. Murphy’s expert reports as: “laughable”; “based on unreliable data”; “rife with analytical error”; containing “a plethora of errors and analytical fallacies” and a “mind-boggling number of errors”; “completely unreliable”; “so full of material flaws that any evidence of disparate impact derived from an analysis of its contents must necessarily be disregarded”; “distorted”; “both over and under inclusive”; “cherry-picked”; “worthless”; and “an egregious example of scientific dishonesty.” Id. at 14-20."

    “Laughable” – That’s The Word A Federal Judge Used To Smackdown The First EEOC Lawsuit Based On Criminal Background Checks….

    1. Holder Math.


      ht T, above

  34. The Brilliance Keeps on Coming:

    "Hillary Clinton has received some encouragement for a 2016 Presidential run from an unexpected source: President George W. Bush’s daughter Barbara, Politicoreports.

    In an upcoming interview with People magazine, the 31-year old Bush called Clinton “unbelievably accomplished” and said she wants to see the former secretary of state declare her candidacy.

    Although she’s in favor of Clinton mounting a campaign, Bush did not go so far as to say she would cast a vote for her.

    Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

    “I don’t know who she’d be running against,” said Bush, who is politically unaffiliated but has thrown her support behind gay marriage.

    Bush’s thoughts on a potential presidential run by Clinton were a sidebar in an interview done mostly to promote her work as the CEO of the nonprofit Global Health Corps., through which she has struck up partnerships with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.

    “We want results,” Bush said.

    “We work with people doing great work.”

    Two subjects Bush stayed away from: a possible run for the White House by her uncle, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and her dad’s recent heart surgery.

    The article will appear in the Aug. 26 issue of People magazine.

    Read Latest Breaking News from

    1. .

      “I don’t know who she’d be running against,” said Bush, who is politically unaffiliated but has thrown her support behind gay marriage.

      Where did the gay marriage thing come from?

      Am I mistaken or is that what is called a non-sequitur?

      Liberal media.



    2. They're doing Great Work.

      Mind your own beeswax.

  35. Another Asian Driver Smear

    Love the Peppy Music at the end.

  36. The Great Randi

    >>> Last month, at age 84, Randi traveled from Florida—where gay marriages aren’t legal—to Washington, D.C., in order to marry his partner, a pony-tailed Venezuelan national named Deyvi Pena. And it occurs to me that Randi’s marriage, long prevented by a legal adherence to religious dogma and superstition, is something of a victory for skepticism.<<<

    Quirk seems to missed the Wrist Band/T-
    Band angle. Probably in the slammer during those years --

    "Perhaps the best example of the skeptic movement’s tenacious real-world influence has been its battle with a California-based company called Power Balance—manufacturers of wristbands that, when worn, were supposed to improve strength, balance, and flexibility, “safely restoring and optimizing the electro-magnetic balance within the human body,” the company at one point claimed on its website. In 2010 alone, an estimated 2.5 million people wore them. Among those who sported the wristbands were Bill Clinton, David Beckham, Kate Middleton, Shaquille O’Neal, and countless professional athletes. Power Balance was making so much money that, in 2011, it purchased the naming rights to the Sacramento Kings’ arena."

    >>>By Michael Moynihan

    In a flat expanse of southwest Las Vegas, six miles from the gaudiness and glitz of the Strip, sits the massive South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. Enter its cavernous “gaming floor” and one is immediately pulled into a world of middle-aged waitresses in skimpy costumes, geriatric gamblers, and men in tanktops—arms invariably graffitied with tattoos—scanning The Racing Form.

    But during a four-day stretch in mid-July, these stereotypical Vegas denizens shared the hotel with a very different, very un-Vegas crowd. On the far end of the casino and up an escalator, in a windowless conference center, there was an annual convention taking place called The Amazing Meeting—a gathering known to attendees simply as TAM.

    TAM is organized by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), a group devoted to a philosophy called skepticism: the debunking of psychics, mediums, pseudoscientists, faith-healers, homeopaths, and anyone else who makes claims that defy the known laws of science. Skepticism has a wide following—the Internet is littered with self-proclaimed skeptic blogs, podcasts, and forums—and JREF is widely acknowledged to be the movement’s hub. Over 1,000 people attended this year’s conference, which featured an array of panelists and speakers, from magician Penn Jillette to comedian Father Guido Sarducci to Steven Novella, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. (And yes, it was ironic that this militantly rational group decided to hold its annual meeting in a casino.)<<<

    We should turn rat in to The Bullshit Police.

    1. "Father Guido Sarducci"

      There was some San Fran Comic in the Sixties with a name pretty close to that.

    2. Jillette lives outta town along with Tyson where the late night guy used to live.


      Late Night w/who?

      Wonder if he's still breathing in the Phillipines?

    3. Tyson cares for his pet pigeons.

      ...there's hope for us all.

    4. Now I can't remember Bell's first name.

      Alzheimers marches on.

      ...or ethanol poisoning.

      It was those damn Federal Subsidies that started the precipitous slide.

    5. "Art"

      Hope spings eternal.

      I wish.

    6. .

      At Souls-R-Us we have a new item, the anti-TAM bracelet, $14.95 plus S&H, available in three popular colors.

      These bracelets are guaranteed to deflect the negative energy projected from the pitiful creatures at TAM. On the front, each has an embossed JREF enclosed in a circle with an angular bar running through it. On the inside it has printed the motto of the state of New Hampshire, "Live Free and Die".

      Makes a great gift for birthdays, Christmas, bar mitzvahs, graduations, etc.

      If you call within the next 2 days we will send you and extra bracelet free along with a packet containing 'Secret Knowledge' obtained courtesy of a special arrangement with our long time associates the Rosicrucians (San Diego, CA). Just pay the additional S&H.


    7. If the shipping and handling is less the ten dollars I'll take the one, plus the extra free.

      I want mine in blue.

      How much is the S@H for the Secret Knowledge packet?

      My niece and I will be able to wear matching bracelets. OOORay.

    8. I'll mark the total cost off from the amount you currently owe me.

  37. Vietnamese woman took out our son's Scoutleader's son when he was 19.

  38. Just for shits and grins, here is WordStar running under MS-DOS, and Windows 3.11 running in a second window, and XP running in a third window, all running at the same time inside Debian 6.0.4, because I'm a Linux Jedi.

    1. .

      You are the goddess of cyberspace.


    2. I wanna run Works for DOS.

      Had the World's simplest Macro feature.

    3. I had an IBM Lx-40 laptop that multitasked well running Win 3 with a massive 4 mb of RAM!
      ...upgraded from 2 mb.

    4. Goddam no see em ants got in the screen and destroyed it.

    5. "About Ibm Computer
      The IBM personal computer launched a revolution when it was released in August 1981. For almost a decade, the term 'personal computer' had been used freely in industrial technology circles to describe complex calculating machines in a general sense. IBM turned this phrase into a multi-billion dollar market. IBM's breakthrough was the result of the passionate work of 12 programmers, who were led by the visionary designer, Don Estridge.Instead of going through normal company development channels, the group of 12 cannibalized parts from other machines and systems and constructed the first PC within a year. The success of so-called Project Chess catapulted IBM computers into the lead of the race for the home computing market. By 1984, IBM computers were utterly dominant.That said, other companies, such as Compaq, borrowed IBM's concept of open source retro-engineering. In November 1982, Compaq came out with a new personal computer which looked very much like IBM's PC. Partially in response to Compaq's copycat move, IBM adopted a policy of purposely crippling its lower end PCs to encourage consumers to invest in pricier models. This so-called 'rationalizing' tactic backfired and forced many consumers over to lesser well-known brands, such as Apple.Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, IBM repeatedly ignored partnerships with entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. As a result of IBM's obstinate policies, smaller firms, like Microsoft and later Dell Computer, jumped way ahead of the company and cornered the personal computing market. That said, IBM wasn't totally defeated. Today, it manufactures some really top-notch PCs and laptops."

      They do?

  39. Hey Bobbo:

    Just heard Art Bell rerun from Nov 7, 2002!

    Miracles never cease.

    Pass the Bong!

    1. Wife was telling me Art's going to be on again with some regularity. I'll watch for it and give you the heads up.

      Quirk got his idea about going into Area 51 'under the radar' from Art. He didn't realize they has 'look down' radar on the mountain tops.

      He was a low flying slow flying 'sitting duck'.

      Hamdoon and I were still trying to dissuade him as he put on his Snoopy Flying Helmet, buckled up, chomped the cigar tightly between his teeth, and I still remember what I thought were his last words:

      "I'm goin' in. I'm gettin' to the bottom this!"

      That was the last communication till he crawled into Ely weeks later, and we found him laying on the ground by the Walk of Stars, Hotel Nevada.

    2. .

      I remember easing down to 200 feet. The wingsuit was working perfectly, plenty of lift. I anticipated no problems landing as I maneuvered towards some scrub vegetation that could provide cover. The next thing I know the was a blinding white light and I became completely disorientated. The next moment I thought I heard a whispered Rosebud and then everything went black.

      I would occasionally start to regain consciousness. There was that same white light, some giggling, that probe...oh god...the probe...and then I woke up in Ely staring into the face of two jokers who both looked like they had been rode hard and put to bed wet.

      I now have a new wingsuit, a supply of KY jelly, and I'm goin in. I'm getting to the bottom of this.


    3. ""I'm goin' in. I'm gettin' to the bottom this!""

      Back when men really were.

      He deserved to land by the Walk of Stars.

    4. Road Hard - The Movie

      I just gave the poor guy 30 bucks.

      ...the better to buy another Vintage Lamborghini.

      Or Paul Neuman RaceCar.

    5. Kids under 12 cannot ride in the back of Pickups here in Paradise.

      ...looking out for the Keiki.

      What would I do w/o PSA's and Art Bell?

    6. Seattle police cure munchies with Doritos giveaway at city's Hempfest

      (CNN) -- When Seattle pot smokers got the munchies this weekend, the cops had their back.

      Now that marijuana is legal in Washington, there's not much police could do about weed-toting revelers at the city's Hempfest.

      But they did want to explain the new rules surrounding recreational marijuana use in the state -- and hit upon a novel distribution format: Doritos.

      Sticking the cops' messages on something edible was a no-brainer, Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said.

  40. So he can Join Art Bell in out of body experiences?

    ...still going on Bob:

    Wish you were hear.

  41. Quite comforting after all the Atheistic Propaganda around here lately.

    No way she's really gone.

    Not in my life.

  42. "All will be well."

    Did I learn that here, or elsewhere?

    ...wisdom from The East.

    1. Good thing I have no bong.

      Gravity could not constrain me.

    2. .

      No, well then try our new 'Gravity Belt'. There is no better constraint, $23.50 plus S&H.



    3. 'Twas Julian of Norwich, from the ago:

      "Sin is behovely (useful or necessary), but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well"

      Her great saying, "Sin is behovely (useful or necessary), but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well," reflects her theology on sin. Sin is necessary, she argues, "because it brings us to self-knowledge—knowledge of our own fallibility—which in turn moves us to seek God."[7] It is considered to be one of the most individually famous lines in all of Catholic theological writing, and certainly one of the most well-known phrases of the literature of her era. It was quoted in T.S. Eliot's "Little Gidding," the fourth of his Four Quartets. To Julian, sin is "all that is not good," which includes the suffering of Jesus. She taught that humans usually fall into sin out of naïveté and ignorance not out of wickedness. Our mistakes cause us to humbly seek God. She says then, that sin is necessary, or "behovely," as life is a school where we learn from our mistakes.

      Life is a school. Lots of NDE'rs say the same.

    4. "No, well then try our new 'Gravity Belt'. There is no better constraint, $23.50 plus S&H."

      Just don't go swimming in one.

      At trial, it was shown the 'gravity belt' was actually nothing other than a series of small weights, like they use on race horses, when some horse has to carry a little extra weight to even things up.

      The jury let Quirk off on the criminal negligent homicide charges, but awarded civil damages in 'a heavy amount'.

      Thus it was that began the 'sinking' of Souls, and led to my acquisition of same, again, for civil financial liabilities due me from Quirk.

    5. Quirk was also ordered by the Court never to sell, give, loan, rent, advertise, write about, nor mention in speech his infamous 'gravity belts' again.

    6. .

      Luckily, we have a justice system where liberal judges with delusions of grandeur can be reversed on appeal. The case ultimately made its way through system and up to the Supreme Court. There in a unanimous 9-1 ruling the lower court ruling was reversed with Chief Justice Roberts writing the final ruling.

      The opinion pointed out that

      1. The purpose of the belt was 'solely to provide constraint for those who could not ordinarily be constrained by gravity.'

      2. That extensive testing did in fact prove that the belt did meet that objective.

      3. That adequate warnings were provided in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and pre-historic Swedish that included the specific warning "Do not wear while swimming."

      (The court did point out that the warnings were admittedly small yet still met the required legal standard for size, just barely.)

      Evidence that became known after the original lower court decision included

      1. The original drowning victim was a Swedish English major and thus could not be expected to understand normal instructions. (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in a separate minority opinion did suggest that the defendant, Souls-R-Us, Inc develop some type of pictograph as a possible solution to what she termed the "Swedish Problem".)

      2. Evidence of possible bribery and corruption also surfaced when documentation was presented that showed the judge in the original case had accepted a windrow of alfalfa and a counterfeit first edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass Anonymous-Bob Boobie, a farmer with a checkered past. Boobie was a known criminal and charlatan who often walked by pleading non compos mentis, a defense prosecutors often found impossible to argue against. Boobie was the accused perpetrator of numerous schemes to swindle the entire Souls-R-Us empire from a Mr. Quirk, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who had once tried to befriend Boobie when he was homeless and in dire need of a friend. (When asked about the case and Boobie, Mr. Quirk could only shake his head as he slowly walked back to his limosine.)

      The judge swore the gifts were a bar mitzvah gift for her daughter. When it was pointed out to the judge, Stella O'Hara, that a bar mitzvah was for a son not a daughter and that neither she, nor her husband, nor her daughter were Jewish, she responded, "I know that. Don't you think I know that." Then she was whisked away by her attorney.

      Boobie laughed off the incident and stated that he was a member of AIPAC and that the whole matter was a misunderstanding. (According to a Washington Post article, investigators who checked on Boobie's story found that while he had applied for membership with AIPAC, the application is still being withheld two years later. AIPAC officials refused to say why.)

      A grand jury has been convened to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought in this Boobie/O'Hara affair.


  43. Residents in path of rapidly growing Idaho fire urged to get out

    CNN International ‎- 4 hours ago

    An Idaho blaze swelled over the course of the day Saturday, sending massive walls of fire closer to homes and resorts in the Sun Valley area.

    Dayum, Bob!

    Hope Lester Crown's place in Sun Valley is saved.

    1. If Lester is there, I hope he gets burned to a crisp. I'm tired of hearing about his silly ass.

  44. Chef Poon Discusses 52nd Annual Watermelon Festival At Rose Bowl!

    STUDIO CITY (KCAL9) — When do you go at red and stop at green? When you’re eating a watermelon!

    Celebrity Chef Joseph Poon, a spokesperson for the National Watermelon Promotion Board and Brenda Fortune, a spokesperson for Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club Watermelon Festival, stopped by KCAL9 Thursday to tell viewers about an upcoming festival!

    The 52nd Annual Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club Watermelon Festival will take place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Aug. 16-18.

    Poon also shared the recipe for Watermelon Fire & Ice Salsa:

  45. Damn!

    Now they're playing Hoagland on Bell:

    Buildings on Mars.

    Conundrum in Egypt explained by discovery of buried cities on Mars:


    G_d is Good:
    They're playing Art Bell reruns.


    To this eternal question, Boris says,

    "they were Egyptians, they lived in Egypt. I mean... we've called them variously "Atlantians" and, I suppose, "Little Green Man from Mars", but that was Egypt, and so therefore, to me, they're Egyptians."

    He says there is no way the pyramids were intended to be tombs for Pharaohs.

    "They've never found bodies in them. There's no single mark that identifies the pyramids as the tomb of any particular Pharaoh and, to the extent that in some of the pyramids bodies were later found, I think these structures were probably used as tombs by people who came later. I think that whoever created these structures used something that we don't know [about]."

    Robert Bauval revealed how, at the dawning of the Age of Leo, the air shafts in the Great Pyramid point directly to the stars of Orion. Boris continued to point out how the Sphinx looks like a lion, "its got to give you some indication that the people back then knew something we don't know."

    Richard adds that we are the descendants of these architects of the Egyptian monuments, whoever they were. He notes that when he first began his research into the Face on Mars in 1983, he remembers the almost unanimous reaction of archeologists when they were shown unidentified pictures of the Martian anomalies.

    "The answers ranged from Hanuman, the Indian monkey god, to an aerial view of some pyramid complex in Egypt.. Initially looking at these things, I was thinking in terms of aliens, in terms of other, in terms of visitors to the solar system who had erected a stunning artificial complex on Mars.... Over the ensuing 15 years... my thinking has come perhaps 180º and in good measure because of... John West, Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval."

    Richard began wondering about the possibilities that the anomalies an Mars perhaps could indeed be related to the monuments in Egypt.

    1. :)

      >>>"They've never found bodies in them. There's no single mark that identifies the pyramids as the tomb of any particular Pharaoh and, to the extent that in some of the pyramids bodies were later found, I think these structures were probably used as tombs by people who came later. I think that whoever created these structures used something that we don't know [about]."<<<

      Does not this statement sound alike to so many of those of our bong sucking rodent?

      They've never found bodies, but to the extent they found bodies....

      heh, that's our rodent exactly.

  46. SuzzieMarieRose 1 day ago

    i cnt live if living is without you;'( i'm going through the same thing right now grl... mines only been 4 days now & it feels like years ..havent eaten in 4 days. i havent been out in days since it happened only time i went out was to see him..havent went anywhere or ate in days.& havent slept in days..most i got is like 5 hours..;'( so heartbroken right now.:'( & what hurts the most is he doesnt even care or try to fix us </3